Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT)

Certified Trails, Places and Spaces

Certified forest therapy trails, much like the mycelium networks that thread through forest soils, serve a profound role in connecting us to nature and, intrinsically, to ourselves. This natural network exemplifies a sophisticated system of support and connection, mirroring the purpose and impact of ANFT Certified Forest Therapy trails on human participants.

Certified Forest Therapy trails, carefully designed pathways through natural landscapes, invite individuals to engage deeply with the environment through guided walks that emphasize sensory connection and mindfulness. Just as mycelium connects diverse plant species, supporting the health and growth of the forest ecosystem, these trails connect humans to the intricate beauty and complexity of the natural world. Participants are encouraged to slow down, observe closely, and listen intently, fostering a sense of unity with the environment that often eludes us in our fast-paced, technology saturated lives.

In essence, certified Forest Therapy trails are the human-crafted mycelium of our society, weaving through natural spaces to connect us more deeply to the earth and to the essence of our being. They remind us that we are not separate from nature but an integral part of its tapestry, fostering a sense of belonging and stewardship towards the environment.

Explore our Global Network of ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Trails, Spaces or Places utilizing the map below.

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Certified Forest Therapy Designation

Certified forest therapy trails, much like the mycelium networks that thread through forest soils, serve a profound role in connecting us to nature and, intrinsically, to ourselves. This natural network exemplifies a sophisticated system of support and connection, mirroring the purpose and impact of ANFT Certified Forest Therapy trails on human participants.

Certified Forest Therapy trails, carefully designed pathways through natural landscapes, invite individuals to engage deeply with the environment through guided walks that emphasize sensory connection and mindfulness. Just as mycelium connects diverse plant species, supporting the health and growth of the forest ecosystem, these trails connect humans to the intricate beauty and complexity of the natural world. Participants are encouraged to slow down, observe closely, and listen intently, fostering a sense of unity with the environment that often eludes us in our fast-paced, technology-saturated lives.

In essence, certified Forest  Therapy trails are the human-crafted mycelium of our society, weaving through natural spaces to connect us more deeply to the earth and to the essence of our being. They remind us that we are not separate from nature but an integral part of its tapestry, fostering a sense of belonging and stewardship towards the environment. 

Explore an ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Trail, Space or Place today!

‍Forest Therapy Trails, Spaces & Places Certification Interest Form

There is a direct correlation between the health of our forests and human health. How can we help in supporting both? One way is through certification. Designating a natural area for nature and forest therapy is a resolute commitment to prioritize human well-being while safeguarding the health of our environment.

Increasingly, there is a trend toward leveraging time in nature for its beneficial impacts on mental health and overall physical wellness. For example, children who suffer from Attention Deficit and related disorders often show marked improvement when they are given time to simply play, explore, and indulge their curiosity in natural settings such as streams and forests. Adults who experience chronic low-grade stress (which they may not even be aware of) can quickly, and easily, retune their nervous systems, leading to a wide range of benefits such as reduced blood pressure, improved immune system response, and stabilization of moods. The emerging emphasis on the health benefits of forests and natural (link to article)environments opens new possibilities for partnerships. Health care organizations, employee wellness programs, and groups that promote healthy living in general may be attracted to developing programs related to Forest Bathing and visiting Forest Therapy certified trails and other designated locations. 

The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy has developed and established a universal, comprehensive framework for the identification, designation and certification of forest therapy trails, spaces and places around the world. By crafting these guidelines and criteria, ANFT seeks to ensure that these designated spaces are not only conducive to the health benefits of participants but are also exemplary settings that nurture the connection between individuals and the natural world. Certified Forest Therapy trails and spaces serve as pathways that support and strengthen our connection to nature, to others and ourselves. ANFT certified forest therapy sites serve as foundational pillars for enhancing the well-being of both visitors and the environment. 

Certified Forest Therapy trails and sites play a critical role in sustaining the delicate balance between human health and the flourishing of the natural world, thus embodying the essence of forest therapy, to harmonize the nurturing of our planet with the nurturing of ourselves. This partnership program is available globally, wherever it may serve.

Certified Forest Therapy Trails, Spaces & Places have already been developed in many countries including the United States, Costa Rica, Slovenia, Mexico, Columbia and Canada, certified by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) in partnership with a ANFT Certification Consultant.

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What are the benefits of having a certified forest therapy trail, space, or place?

Managers and staff who are stewards of natural areas often embrace, as a core part of their mission, developing programs that attract people to the land. Most often, these programs are recreation activity based or designed to improve one’s scientific knowledge of the natural world. Forest Bathing and Relational Forest Therapy experiences offer another approach, encouraging participants to slow down and experience nature through their senses. Forest Therapy seeks to foster a deep, personal connection to the land, increasing the likelihood that visitors will repeatedly return to these places over and over again. 

 By certifying natural areas as forest therapy sites, we unlock a range of benefits for patrons, visitors, and land managers, along with the lands in their care.

Reciprocity: Reciprocity is an inherent value of certified forest therapy sites. These spaces encourage a reciprocal relationship between participants and the natural environment. As individuals immerse themselves in the healing power of nature, they develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the interconnectedness between humans and the ecosystem. This understanding inspires a sense of responsibility to give back and contribute to the well-being of the natural world. Through Relational Forest Therapy, participants actively engage in reciprocity, recognizing that by caring for the environment, they enhance their own well-being and contribute to the flourishing of the larger ecosystem. This reciprocal relationship fosters a harmonious coexistence between humans and nature, benefiting both parties and creating a positive ripple effect in the broader community.

Community: Certified forest therapy sites strengthen the community fabric. These designated areas become gathering points for individuals who share a passion for nature and well-being. They create a sense of belonging and camaraderie among participants, fostering a supportive community where people can connect, share experiences, and spend time in nature together. This sense of community extends beyond the forest therapy sites, creating opportunities for collaboration, partnerships, events, and initiatives that promote overall well-being and environmental consciousness. 

Engagement: Certified forest therapy trails, spaces and places offer innovative and unique opportunities for patron engagement. Forest Therapy invites participants to approach the land slowly and with curiosity. These designated spaces offer individuals seeking the healing benefits of nature, creating a platform for meaningful interactions and fostering a deep sense of connection. By working together, we can collectively advocate and strengthen our ability to meet the ecological and societal challenges we face today.

Consistency: Certification ensures a consistent and high-quality experience for participants and guests. This certification ensures that guides and practitioners can confidently lead their participants into environments that have been professionally assessed and deemed beneficial for the immersive experiences that characterize Forest Therapy. Furthermore, it allows guides to focus on their core practice of facilitating deep connections between individuals and the natural world, knowing that the trails meet the necessary criteria to support the therapeutic journey. This network, therefore, acts as a vetted resource, enhancing the credibility of the practice while ensuring consistent and high-quality experiences for those seeking the restorative benefits of nature

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